The other day, I was chatting with a friend about her son borrowing a book from my son, and she said, “Since we’re about to go away for a month, I’ll just buy it for him. Plus, that gives me an excuse to get a book for myself.” So, as is natural when you’re a voracious reader, I asked, “Oh? What are you going to get?” And she cleared her throat and said, “Don’t judge me.” And then rattled off the name of a popular mainstream romance. I’ll admit it, I laughed right before I said, “Um, you remember I write romance, right? No judgement here.”
It isn’t the first time something like this has happened. But it got me thinking…why is it that so many women seem to be embarrassed that they read romance? I’ve even met a handful of authors who seem embarrassed that they write it. I don’t get it. If for no other reason than I have to stop and ask, what is the Bible if not a romance between God and His people? (Now let me be clear, I’m not comparing my contemporary romance to Scripture.)
I love reading romance. And I love writing it. So I came up with three reasons why that I thought I’d share with you today.
- You know from the start that the ending will be satisfying. There is nothing worse, in my mind, than reading a book and experiencing all the emotional upheaval that the characters go through and then, you get to the end, and–bam!–no resolution. (Or, worse, a bad ending.) With romance, you know that the guy and the girl, no matter what they go through up to that point, will end up together. Now, maybe it’s just a “happily for now” ending instead of “happily ever after,” but hey, at least you can spend some enjoyable time building them a dream home and naming their kids when you’re done with the book.
- There’s a lot of scope for tackling tough issues within the confines of a romance. Romance novels don’t have to be light and fluffy (not that there’s anything wrong with light and fluffy! I love those romances, too.) As couples get to know one another and move toward love and marriage, there are a ton of issues they can run into. And when you’re looking at them from within the bounds of a fledgling relationship, youcan get a lot of tension that goes beyond the tried-and-true. And, looking back up at number one here for a second, no matter the depth of the issue, the reader still has that promise of a happy sigh coming.
- There’s a line in the movie “50 First Dates” that goes, “There’s nothing like a first kiss.” And that is true. Even though I’m happily married for coming up on 21 years, I love first kisses. At this point, that means I love reading about them. There’s that humming tension–will he? Won’t he? Should she? You can’t replicate it. And when it comes–wherever it comes in the story–it’s like a time machine that transports me back to my first kiss with my husband and I get to relive that memory a little through the eyes of the characters in a book.
So I’m going to challenge you to stand atop your desk, a la The Dead Poets Society, and proclaim to the world that you love romance novels and you aren’t ashamed to say it! Stop hiding your books behind the cover of Ben Hur or Oprah’s latest book club choice, and embrace the romance. I suspect you’ll find that the people around you are every bit as in love with romance as you are.
Since I have a brand new release (out today!), I’d love to gift a copy to someone. Here’s the blurb:
Not all secrets can be kept.
Jake McGill wants to spend his vacation time in the mountains. As a bonus, he gets to take kids on hikes, teach them to shoot, and run the fireworks show for the Fourth of July at camp. But the instant attraction he feels for the camp director wasn’t something he’d anticipated.
Single mom Deb Magarry has always put her son first. When she agrees to stand in as director for the summer camp they attend together every year, romance is the farthest thing from her mind. Especially not with Jake and all the ghosts he resurrects from her past.
How will Jake convince Deb to give him a chance when she’s determined to keep her heart, and her secrets, under lock and key?
Operation Fireworks is the third book in the Operation Romance series.
Leave a comment and let me know what you love about reading (or writing!) romance novels. I’ll choose one random commenter on June 25th to get a free e-book of my upcoming release, Operation Fireworks.